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TA11A Case Studies on Minerals and Metals Products
() Global substance flow analysis of copper and zinc: a per capita analysis.
Graedel, T1, Reck, B1, Binder, C2, 1 Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA2 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zuerich, Switzerland
ABSTRACT- The use of materials is strongly related to the economic and industrial activity in a country, its standard of living and, thus, to its wealth. In an attempt to quantify this relationship, current per capita rates for copper and zinc, comprising essentially all anthropogenic stocks and flows of the two metals, are analyzed for 52 countries. For a characterization through the entire technological cycle, extraction, fabrication and manufacturing, utilization, and end-of-life rates of the two metals are quantified. On a global basis, the average rates of use per capita are 5.6 kg/yr for copper and 3.0 kg/yr for zinc. By analyzing the dataset in terms of high-income and low/medium-income countries, a significantly higher use of copper and zinc in high-income countries becomes apparent. The highest discard rates per capita are found in well established economies, with 4.8 kg/yr of copper discarded in the United States, and 3.6 kg/yr of zinc discarded in Austria. It appears noteworthy that the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore have a much higher use per capita of copper than other countries, while their use per capita of zinc is of average magnitude. Correlations between metal flows and several potential driving variables will be presented.
Key words: material flow analysis, metals, technological cycle
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